Many of our Colorado readers probably know someone who has a disability but still manages to go to work every day. Changes in our society over the last several years have played a large role in making an individual who has a disability feel more comfortable about being around other people in a work environment. Changes to our laws have helped as well, and there is probably no law that has done more than the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Anyone familiar with the ADA knows that one of the most important provisions of this law is the requirement that employers provide "reasonable accommodations" to employee with disabilities. Unfortunately, like with many other laws in our country, there will always be violations. However, our readers probably wouldn't expect one of the nation's largest employers to be on the other end of an ADA discrimination claim.
That is the case for Wal-Mart, which is currently facing allegations of firing a man with a mental disability in violation of the ADA. According to a recent report, the man worked as a greeter at the Durango, Colorado, Wal-Mart location where he was employed. One of the reasonable accommodations the employer reportedly agreed to was to contact the man's wife first if there were any issues with his compliance with work regulations or problems with his work performance.
Wal-Mart has claimed that the man was fired because he regularly failed to clock in after taking lunch breaks. It does not appear that the man is disputing this claim, but the problem, from the man and his wife's perspective, is that a supervisor should have contacted the man's wife first in order to attempt to correct the problem. The failure to do so, they claim, was a violation of the ADA.
Source: Opposing Views, "Couple Claims Wal Mart Violated Americans With Disabilities Act By Firing Disabled Man Matt Wood," Jonathan Wolfe, Oct. 28, 2013